issue 104
November 18, 2009

a note from Lori

Do you ever find yourself not really wanting to work even though you have plenty to do? Sometimes spending a few minutes searching for a YouTube video that will inspire you can do wonders for your day. I found that video for me this week - check it out if you need some inspiration in your photography. It's called Face Off With A Predator. Before you watch it, let me ask you a question. Would you jump into ice-cold water with your camera, knowing you'll be coming face to face with a giant predator? 



Six figure training
How To Overcome Your Fear Of Becoming A Six Figure Success

When you decided to become a photographer, what process did you go through? Did you establish goals for yourself? Did you commit yourself to the business with all your heart, knowing you would find success?
How's it going?
If things haven't turned out quite the way you thought they would, you're not alone. I talk to photographers every day that set out to create an extraordinary business, and fall short somewhere along the way.
The reason we fall short is we build up false fears in our minds, which ultimately stop us from achieving our desires. In fact, through my years of helping photographers, I've discovered 5 fears that most business owners have at some point in their career.
1. Fear of failure.
Sometimes it's easier NOT to do something than risk it all. Unfortunately, that's why most people never achieve their dreams. It's scary to have people around you say, "I told you so". It's easier to have the dreams deep down inside, and never share or acknowledge them. But failure can be a good thing. Think back to your childhood. How many things did you attempt for the first time? Failure doesn't enter our minds until we're heading into adulthood, and then it hits with a vengeance. Put aside your fears, and give it a try.
2. Fear I might lose money.
Many photographers start their businesses on a shoestring budget. I know; I've been there too. And it's easy to play head games with the little money you do have: How can I put an ad in this magazine if I don't know what results I will get? As a small business owner, you will lose money. You'll make choices that don't give you the results you were hoping for. But it will give you one thing - an education. Being in business for yourself allows you to do, see and experience things most people never see. Get in there and lose a little - you may be surprised at how much you gain.
3. Fear of the unknown.
This is the fear of not knowing what comes next, or how to approach the next situation. If you're building a business for the first time, every day brings something new to your plate. And if you've never experienced any of this before, it can be a little overwhelming. The best piece of advice you can receive is from another business owner who has achieved what you desire. Especially if you don't have family or friends operating their own businesses, it's important to remember that you can find mentors that can provide you with direction and step-by-step plans.
4. Fear of losing the people around me.
Take a look at the five people around you that you spend the most time with. How do they feel about your business venture? If they are cheering you on, congratulations. But if they aren't, are you afraid you may lose them if your business succeeds? Our circle of friends changes year after year. If your friends don't support your dreams and desires, it may be time to increase your circle and choose a few optimistic peers that will help you achieve business success.
5. Fear of losing my freedom.
What if success comes through the door - rapidly? What if you no longer have time to have lunch dates during the week, or meet for long dinners with friends? Only you can decide what's most important to your life. Giving up freedom in some areas may allow you to build freedom in others. Instead of time off on the weekends, maybe you'll build up your bank account. Or instead of overnight camping trips, maybe you'll take weeklong cruises. Freedom is truly what you determine it to be.
Do you see yourself in at least one of these fears? Every successful businessperson I've coached has lived through at least one of these fears. And if you haven't, it may be time to open your eyes up wider to your own life, and taking a closer look within.
If you do see yourself facing one of these fears, use these three steps as a way to reenergize your life.
Step One - Acknowledge the fear. Why are you holding this fear close to you?
Step Two - Analyze the fear. Begin building a list of possible outcomes. If you fear you'll lose money, the worst that can happen may be bankruptcy. But the best may be amazing sales.
Step Three - Overcome the fear. Once you have your list in hand, use it to work through your fears. Take baby steps if you need to. But concentrate on taking small steps to tackle your fears.


Latest blog stories
3 Lessons I Learned Building My Wedding Photography Business Past the $100,000 Level

A few years back I started doing research for a book I was writing on photography. And I was shocked to learn that in the photography industry, the top 10 percent of all photographers earned in excess of $53,900 per year. That meant 90 percent of all photographers where earning less than this. I knew then something had to change, and my entire VirtualPhotographyStudio concept was born.
Inevitably when I teach or am around a group of photographers, someone always asks about my lessons learned.  "What do you wish you knew as a start up that would have helped you jump to the Six Figure faster?" So here are my top 3 lessons learned.
1. Getting To $50,000 is much harder than getting to $100,000
The most difficult thing about building a photography business from the ground up (or any business for that matter) is figuring out what it takes to make it a full time success. If you are earning $10,000 or $20,000 per year from your photography, you have to have a supplemental income from somewhere. But once you hit the $50,000, you're beginning to look at it more with a full time status. (Yes, there are still all of your expenses you have to subtract, but you're still earning a pretty decent fee.)
In order to grow from $0 to $50,000, you have to put your systems in place. You have to build your marketing materials. You have to build up a good clientele. You have to have your prices and your products well defined. And you have to devote enough time to everything in addition to your supplemental income source.
Once you move past the $50,000, things are in place - it's just a matter of taking it to the next level. If you're struggling now to break into the $50+ level, what do your plans look like? How are you going to achieve it? Make sure you're thinking at a full time level to achieve full time success. 

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The $3 Office - Set Up Shop To Gain More Photography Clients

Do you have a Starbucks near you like the one near me? I've gone there at 8 in the morning, met people there over the lunch hour, and again at 5 at night. It's the largest one in our area, with easily 20 tables or more inside, and a dozen or so tables outside. I've never been there where most every table isn't filled. The place is always jamming, with lines out the door.
For a $3 drink, you can spend an hour or two right in the center of a ton of traffic. And when you're standing in line, the only thing to do is look around.
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lori recommends
What Does 2010 Have In Store For You?

"Never having to worry about losing your job."

"Never having to worry about your job when the kids get sick."

"Never spending a day doing something you hate."

Those are just a few of the comments I hear when I talk to photographers, and discover why they love being a full time photographer.

I became a photographer for all those reasons, and a whole lot more. I love being able to work when and where I choose. I love bringing in clients, and delighting them with my work. I love being in control over my own destiny. 

If you are new to photography, or have been a part time photographer for years, isn't it time to make a change, and make 2010 your best year yet?

I'm so excited about my Photography For Success program - it really is the best tool available to help you build up your own business. Taken straight from our own business plans, and ready to help you build yours - get started today.
Create Your Own Destiny - Photography For Success>>

About Andrew and Lori
Andrew and Lori Osterberg are co-founders of, a site dedicated to providing tips, resouces and advice for using your camera to build a successful photography business.

Through their coaching, workshops, training and products, Andrew and Lori show you how to break through the desire of wanting photography to be more than a hobby, and provide you with the how-to to actually accomplish it.

To begin experiencing Andrew and Lori's coaching, consider their highly successful Photography For Success, Freedom and 1ncome.

If you liked today's issue, you'll love following Andrew and Lori through all of their high-content training products, newsletter, and online posts. Their goal is to provide you with all you need to help you live the life others only dream of.